tv Prime News HLN November 1, 2009 6:00pm-7:00pm EST
>> i thought we would comment on the president's decision before he goes to asia, but then there are some reports that he might not, he might go to asia and come back before he does it. i think that would be unfortunate. i think we are coming to a point prior to the asian trip, because the president will need to enlist people in asia, leaders specifically, who may not all like us, but who do have respect for the fact that we are in afghanistan and pakistan and iraq, that we're major factors
in their security. and that will be some grist for the mill in those discussions. >> do you think that -- we're focusing on mccrystal's recommendation of 40,000. is there any recommendation on the kind of troops? what is your thinking on what the president's decision should be? >> obviously there are four points in the congress and in the country. i suppose without mischaracterizing unfairly, the far left would say we ought to have been out of there lonk ago, and -- long ago, and this is as good a time as any to pull the plug. and there are those on the far right that suggest that the president lacks leadership skills as a war leader. that he's not resolute enough. if he is not clear that the general in the field from whom
he has great respect among 44,000 -- wants 44,000 people, the question is, does he need more? does that get the job done? and there is an idea of a comparable item to the surge in iraq in anwar province and elsewhere became evident that some iraqis were unhappy with the al qaeda groups and were prepared really to work with us. now we wish we could find similar persons, i suppose, in afghanistan. nonetheless, some people say the surge is what turned iraq around. this is what would be a winning strategy, winning the war in afghanistan. now, i think between these poles, many people, including myself, that would say essentially afghanistan has been a historically difficult thing for any outside power that became involved. as a rule, the afghans would not
have liked anyone to come in, however benign the request. and our situation has not always been benign. we have been looking for al qaeda, we have been looking for other insurgents who would cause frubble. and not just in afghanistan, but more particularly, people who would get passports and come to the united states and harm us physically or our nato allies or others. that's our quest. now can that quest be coupled with the ideas for nato -- schools, building a police force that is not corrupt, but also is efficient, and to do this in a country in which the literacy rate is so low, the poverty is so endemocratic. the whole traditions of dealing with money as to who your friends were is really so much a
part of just existing. i think for the moment, the president from press accounts is looking at it province by province. he's looking at being in the medium-sized cities as well as the hamlets in the country. how does this match up with what we are doing with a line drawn by europeans a long time ago to divide the countries? do we understand the poshtoon culture? well, yes and no, and we're all learning fast, including the president, but i think we are learning.
if the president does come forward with a plan or plans, he must make that very specific. and that is a very big quest. it will not do to have a tentative feeling that now you see if, now you don't, and this is among several things on my mind. >> senator, i would like to -- you mentioned the afghans not being welcoming to outside people coming in. and this has been a particularly difficult month as were the previous recent months in afghanistan. i am wondering if you believe americans have the political mr. as the troops have increased, the i.d.'s, the bombs have increased, and it is predicted that more troops will bring heavier casualties? >> yes, i do believe americans have the political will.
we can raise the same question, why should the united states have responsibility for freedom of the seas so that exports and imports could begin on the part of the chinese and others who depend upon the united states to keep it clean, even with pirates in somalia now, the issue is, how do we clean that up? it seems a far stetch, but it is not that far. essentially, other countries in the world, including the chinese and the russians want to make sure the united states is not overwhelming. they want to be a counterweight. on the other hand, if you were to ask russian leaders and chinese leaders on this very forum that we're visiting today, they would say, we're glad the americans are in afghanistan. you ask why? well, because there is clearly a degree of stability, a degree of surveillance of persons who are not very helpful to any of us in the world.
you could say, why us? why shouldn't others -- europe be more involved if their subways have bombings from time to time and uprisings? >> and indeed, they do. they pay more than lip service by having troops organize. now recognizes our place. our situation is one of americans in which we are proud of the fact that we do have leadership in the world we think as a matter of fact we are likely to be more secure and more prosperous, part apart from seeing our ideals from human rights and women's rights and a lot of things that are not shared by others advanced. sometimes we become weary of this and we wish others would help us more, and our shoulders aren't that broad. but on better days, we are proud
to be americans, and this is part of being americans. >> do you believe in terms of strategy, where do you fall along the lines of where should we wait for comprehensive counter-insurgency? do you like the idea of general por trace or a more narrow strategy? >> i believe we will bring about stability in the centers and towns. by "stability" i mean there will not be al qaeda types or even talibans terrorizing the population. and thousands of american civilians who already will be there and they will be joined by an increasing number will, in fact, be doing increasing work with regard to schools and agricultural training and a lot of other things that will lead to a higher quality of life.
there will be other american brigades who are training police and training afghan soldiers. this has been a very tough task and a discouraging one because the training has gone slowly. but the candidates for training do not come with skills of literacy and much educational background, and further more, sometimes traditions of corruption that are not a part of what we want to see. we could say this is hopeless. the afghans will never be abling to coverern themselves in the streets. i read a story in "the washington post" this morning. an examination province by province, what is it really like in those provinces in the north, for example? well, probably better news than those in the south right now. i think, in other words, a very careful analysis of how our troops can best bring about
afghan training, afghan increases in income, and hopes for the future and that's at least some stability for the country. that, i think, will be the watchword of whatever the president comes forward. how do you gain stability? a country that at least has a chance of being self-governing in an area that is very difficult. >> is that then the definition of spablet stability? and the second part of that question is, what you scompri sounds a whole like -- whole lot like nation building as opposed to conventional war. what is the danger to american well being with either a destabilized afghanistan or the continued military presence there vis-a-vis nation building?
>> i think nation building does call for a commitment of 10 years, 15 years, 20 years, maybe beyond that. we just stay with afghanistan forever because the poverty is zoo endemocratic and the difficulties. so, stability i think more what we are looking for. stability in a sense of having a self-governans pattern. >> a central government level? >> it may not ever get to that. the central government level has always been week weak. the france -- the transportation to get from kabul to the rest of it, very difficult. we are looking to see a restoration that is still not tribal perhaps but maybe based on the fact that governans comes through -- govenance comes through tribes. why? that would mean not having enclaves of al qaeda set up
again. we are in afghanistan in part because al qaeda did set up camps and they -- the taliban was in charge. the taliban let us have it with regard to al qaeda. well, they said, we're not going to let you do that. as a result, we overthrow the taliban, we overthrow al qaeda. but it is easier said than done in terms of being permanent. when people can flea across into the so-called tribal areas of afghanistan ungoverned by the central government of pakistan. so we have made some progress and actually persuaded the pakistanis to go after in waziristan presently a people that we think are likely to do them in if they are not careful. and their own government may.
they sort of buy that. and the people in waziristan who flee with whatever they have on their backs and then come back by and large accepting that the army is better than the taliban. that's an advance. but that's all part of the afghanistan situation, and they draw lines, and they come and go. somehow taliban and avenue is the same as those in pakistan. they have their differences. when push comes to shove, though, you see right now, afghan, taliban going over to waziristan to fight against the pakistani army with people that they are not all together that family with. >> senator i want to go back to your statement about the white house. must be explicit about the public and he should stake his political career. you further added that's the one
on your mind. what's your message to the white house? what are you saying specifically? what does staking his political career on it look like to you? >> well, this is prumtwuss to the president to say how he should -- prumtwuss to the president to say how he should run his political career. this matter to the president there are two things he needs to get right. one is to stabilize our own economy. one is to turn around job curves so we're not heading to our 10% plus to his own term, and likewise to stabilize growth and small business and confidence of americans in our own economy and our own ability to grow. that's job one. job two is we're in a war. and we're in a war in which
americans are losing their lives and which tens of billions of dollars are being appropriated and reappropriated at a time in which we are running a deficit of $1.4 trillion last year and that ever predicted for this year, and all sorts of hom ominous signs, how long can this go on? we are going into the cap and trade and a whole lot of other things which are important in this world and important to americans, but i think virtually impossible to do with the budgetary crisis that we have as americans. now, the president might disagree. he might say this is what i came to office for. i inherited the war, i didn't really start one. however, afghanistan is a war of
necessity. well, what does that mean? well, i'm not sure what it means. the president is going to have to define that, i believe. the president may say this economy, i inherited the bush administration. i didn't create all this. well, fair enough, but it is his responsibility. if he doesn't get the economy and the war right, i think he will not be successful. i think most americans would like to be helpful in a bipartisan way in those areas. this is why this is a critical decision for the president. he has to show staying power. he has to show first of all that he knows what the war is about now. it's his war and he is, in fact, going to have success. sylvia asked, what is success? i'm saying it is not nation building. it is not turning the whole situation around in afghanistan.
it is stability so that there is along with the work we're doing in pakistan the possibility of better security for our country and for the world. >> what do you feel is the motivation for this reconciliation that seems critical to one solution? >> i think we'll have to analyze whether the taliban have these common sentiments in each of the provinces. many who write about the taliban point out that this is not one consolidated group anymore than afghanistan as a whole is a centralized group. you have elements here there and yon who by and large identify with the sharia code or by some common element but not
necessarily with each other. so the idea has always been are there elements in the taliban that as a matter of fact would like more stability if they had more hope in life? i am moved by the problems of young afghan males, say, quite apart from afghan females who prior to our coming which were not part of the educational system. but neither were the malse. there were not schools for them. they grew up and after a certain while they got a -- if you were really a bad sort you may go to a madrasa school and for a fee learn to do terrorism, learn to bomb, learn how even to destruct yourself if it means an insurance policy for your family. this is a pretty grim and awful prospect. to the extent that you do have possibilities for young men and young women to have a distinctly better view of life, maybe they have a better view of the taliban or of their responsibilities in terms of
stability. >> what is your opinion about hamid karzai? >> he may not be the most able person in the country, but although we worry about him and we worry about his brother who is operating in the south and is reported to have been involved with our intelligence operations quite apart from other things, but we have to understand, this is afghanistan. this idea of setting up on a scale of 10 the purity function and looking for those that are nine plus is unleakly, really, to yield much leadership. so i don't know whether karzai will win the election.
he would presumably still be the favorite and is very hopeful. my colleague, john kerry will counsel with him if he's had these five good conversations, and indicate that there are a lot of good possibilities for governance. and karzai will understand that. we have had a few good conversations -- by "we" i mean members of the congress and karzai. he came over testified at a committee. i don't think he liked the experience, as it turns out. senator boxer really got into it with him about the women's rights and about that time i got signals from the afghan ambassador that it was about time to wind up the hearing. nevertheless, before we got to that, he was very converseant. likewise he came back with senator reid for a colloquy for which some of us were involved. a very able, intelligent man, but a survivor.
so there are possibilities here, and we have to work with that. i think there have been some chances. >> senator, at the beginning you said you are somewhere between the extremes of declare victory and go home and put in as many combat troops as necessary. do you, a, have a concept of a right number and the type of intervention? you say nation building is far too long, but the things you talk about are infrastructure building. if you were making the decision, what would you -- where would you come down? >> well, first of all, i would like to have a better analysis, generally, of where our armed forces stand in terms of manpower and womanpower right now. we talk glibly about should we take about 10, 20, 30, 40, as if all these people are available. but then you read articles that
as a matter of fact it may be 15,000 that are available right now and so -- until some others get back from iraq, others are recruited, training occurs. what is it? is 44 really a physical possibility for the armed forces right now? now, there are good reports that recruiting has been up. as a matter of fact, that's encouraging. we have a volunteer group of people in a war in which people are getting killed, in which people are volunteering in numbers which meet the quotas and we're told there is i higher quality in terms of academic background, character, and so forth. that's good. at the same time are they ready for afghanistan? that's important, too. it hasn't been technically a part of the conversation. now, if it is 44,000, i'd like to hear from mccrystal with exactly what he wants to do with them. he would say, i want to put this number into training.
now, forgetting is it training, we already have arguments how many afghans should be trained in a certain period of time. and further more, who will pay all these people? what sort of budget does this imply for our defense budget well over and beyond what we're doing now? how does that match up with president obama and the rest of our responsibility for our economy not to go broke or another recession or what have you while we're trying to solve this problem? and these have to be considered simultaneously. let's say for the sake of argument, the 40,000 mccrystal makes a good piece for. then i suspect that we should give him that opportunity. he is the leader on situations. he's one of the best that i've ever seen come along along with general pa trace -- patreas. we're very fortunate.
if this government cannot figure out the leadership, then that is grim. but there is a degree of optimism on their part that we can make a difference and move toward the stability. >> and we're short on time, but the final question. >> and i was wondering, when we talked about is the 44,000 really a possibility, can you just reflect on the level of strain on the armed forces and how long you think that such a an effort could be sustained even if they do invite more troops in. you say we are not in there for the 10 or 15-year nation building. >> i am not confident to know what we have. i take for granted we have to have people that still are volunteering. i take for granted, likewise, that we are going to have very, very large costs in individual
lives, people as they come back, and all of the budgeting you must do in a humane way for treatment of people and assimilation into our society. that's a very important factor. at the same time i take for granted that we are a great power. the world depends upon us, we depend upon ourselves. so we're going to measure up to that. the question is, if we are not able to defend afghanistan, if president karzai is not adequate to serve, then we're going to have plan b or plan c. now, there really has to be some sense of govenance of the country and some stability that comes from not the integrity but the strength ksh if not -- if not the strength but the integrity of the police and armed services. >> you said one top yibbling of leadership was several things on
your mind. did our questions elicit most of the key things on your mind, or is there one other message you warrant to leave us with? >> no, i think we've exousted the afghanistan leadership as i have to offer to it. as i indicated, we're learning more all the time, and i'd like to really talk to general mccrystal some time, and i would have even more confidence in my own viewpoint on that. >> thank you for being here before us today. we appreciate it. we are back with sylvia smith and scott tyson of "the washington post" after 25 minutes with senator richard lugar from the senate foreign relations committee. the senator talked about not so much the time-table from the white house but really defining his decision and explaining it to the american public. what is the message that senator lugar wanted to leave with us
today? >> i think he wanted to signal the white house that obama has time but not too much time. he mentioned that there should be a plan or plans. he used the word "plans" plural a couple times before the asia trip which is november 11, i believe. then he also conveyed whatever obama talks to the nation about, he should do it with certitude and conviction. i think he was keying off a column that he might have read today that said -- questioned whether or not obama has not the aggressiveness but the commitment to afghanistan. he was saying that the president needs to exhibit that. >> how strongly are the views that we heard from senator lugar today about america's responsibility and the reason it is shared by the colleagues in the united states senate and more broadly the public? >> well, i think he dated there is a vast array of differences
from people who would like us to minimize the mission in afghanistan to those who are extremely impatient, that the president hasn't already committed more troops that the commanders there are asking for. so i think he is more of a moderate, it seems, in his views. he was very strong on saying that he believed that the united states has the political will to continue what he posed as a global responsibility to stabilize afghanistan, one that other countries are counting on us for. what is interesting to me is that the polls clearly show a decline in public support for the war and that coincides with some very dramatic rises in u.s. casualties there. so it was interesting that that wasn't at the forefront of his comments there. he maybe expressed a more long-range confidence in american staying power. >> you cover military issues for
the paper. he was reciting the recutement issues that are up. how heavily are they tied to the job losses in the country? >> heavily tied to that. there has always been a historical correlation between rising unemployment and the willingness to serve in the military. the economy gurus will all say that. that has enabled them to meet not only their recruiting goals, but also to lessen some of the weakening of standards that they had adopted -- educational, medical, and moral wavers that they had loosened up somewhat to get the recruits thre needed earlier. >> so that shouldn't necessarily be seen as support for regional goals so much as their response for a domestic situation? >> it is heavily economic. there is pate timple.
-- there is patriotism, there is a desire to serve, but when things got better in iraq, that was another encouragement for recruitment. not necessarily that people don't want to fight, but i think there is less concern among parents or among other influences they called on who are helping other people make up their minds if the situation in iraq was, say, going better. so conversely the current situation in afghanistan might have the opposite affect. >> will we expect to see general mccrystal in front of the committee soon? >> he has not sent up there. so the fact that senator lugar asked again, no, i don't. i think they will send him whether obama is ready to have him sent up. but something he said i thought was really interesting, is that when we pressed him on the number of troops and what kind of troops there should be, he brought up the fact that well, do we even have 44,000 that we could send? and i thought that was an
interesting concern that he said isn't really being discussed and addressed, and the fact that he brought it up suggests something to me that a much larger number or even that number may not be do-able, no matter how smart it might be. >> there is something people don't really like to talk about, so we have as many forces they need. well, in fact, analyzing the brigades for drawdown in iraq, there is some leeway to put in p.m. additional brigades, but nobody believes it could be done in i a -- in a lump sum way. this is something that would be spred spread out over the entire year. it could not happen on that level in any immediate fashion. >> thank you both of you for being here this week and for your questions for senator lugar. >> thank you.
extraordinarily important to this state. is extraordinarily important to this nation, and is, in many ways, historic because this is the seat that senator ed kennedy held for so many years. so thank you very, very much for joining us. let me begin by acknowledging and thanking our partner in this series, bank of america, an outstanding financial services firm, an outstanding civic leader in our community. to the team, we thank you very, very much. let me also acknowledge the chair of the chamber who in her daytime job is president of bently university, gloria larson. gloria, thank you for joining us. [applause] >> let me also acknowledge as a group, there are many appointed
officials here, but in fairness to the candidates, let me thank each of you as a group not only for being here but for the work that you do. in addition, we welcome radio audience from wbur, our flagship cbs station. we welcome our tv audience from c-span. thank you for joining us. there are detailed bios of each of the candidates on your chairs. there is also a one-page on upcoming chamber events which i hope you will take a look at. but what i hope you will do is introduce alphabetcally each of the candidates, ask them to join us on this stage, and then introduce the moderateor.
be the change, inc. he has worked to strengthen americorps. al yn, welcome. [applause] steve has helped to create one of the most successful and private investment firms. and over at the garden, he has helped raise another banner for our boston celtics mple steve, welcome. and now if each -- now if each of you can take a seat.
let me now introduce bill purcell. he's director of the institute of politics at harvard university. he previously served as founding dean of the college of urban affairs at tennessee state university. we were quite concerned that we have an objective moderateor for this. we want to assure you that bill has never supported or donated to any of the candidates at this front table and he is registered to vote in tennessee. please join me in welcoming bill purcell to moderate. [applause]
>> let me first thank paul guzzi for that introduction. paul guzzi loves this chamber of commerce. paul guzzi loves this job. for that reason he wanted anybody else in the world to do this particular task this morning. as far as i -- as far as why i accepted, the institute of politics was established as a living memorial to senator kennedy. senator edward m. kennedy was the inspiration of our staff and students in advancing our mission as well as preserving the legacy of his brother, the president. our leader and mentor would have wanted this chamber to reach out for this purpose, and so do i. i want to briefly explain this morning's format. candidates are to be given two minutes for opening remarks.
we will then add a series of questions related to two catagories -- health care, the economy, and education. the chamber membership submitted the questions and the final selection was made by the chamber staff. each specific question will be directed to two of the four candidates. after these two candidates have answered, i will ask a different question in the same topic for the next two candidates. each candidate will then have 90 seconds to answer the question. during the 90 seconds, candidates are free to return to a previous question, but we will be keeping a tight window on these answers for each response in order to be fair to all candidates. there will be a time keeper from the chamber down in front. the time keeper will hold up a card which will be advisable to each of the candidates, and for the candidates you should know that on the back of the card, actually, it will be advisable to each member of the audience as well, so that everyone will know how we are doing.
at the conclusion each candidate will have one minute to offer closing remarks. earlier this morning we randomly slecked the order in which the keats will offer opening remarks, answer questions, and offer closing remarks. we will now ask each candidate to begin their opening remarks beginning with mr. paliuka. >> as you probably know right now, i'm steve pagliuca, and i approve this speech. i got in this race because i wanted to give people a reel choice and a real chance to achieve the american dream, the same thing i was able to do as the grandson of italian immigrants.
nine months ago we had almost a collapse of our system. in massachusetts, the result has been we have lost 110,000 jobs. in the last 12 months alone we have 323,000 people unemployed today. that is not acceptable in the state. i have traveled the whole state. i have heard the stories. we have leading industries in this state. we have high-tech, clean tech, life sciences and health care supply one of six jobs in the state. finle financial many services, one in five jobs. those are leading industries. we should not have this unemployment race. i am in this race to bring back jobs and put people back to work in massachusetts, and how do you do that? you do that by focusing on these key strategic industries. you do that on focusing on job by job. not 60,000 feet in the air, but
detailed plans. secondly, we have to fix the financial system that's broken. we need strong national regulation, and national regulations by a central control to stop stemic risk from this ever happening again. third, we have to fix the health care system. i have a -- there is a person paying $18,000 a year. that's not acceptable. i would like you to spend me to washington. i appreciate your support. thank you. [applause] >> mr. khazei. >> thank you. i'm glad to be here with all of you. we started this with a private partnership. all of our funding came from the private sector from many people in this room, and i want to thank you for that.
i am running for the united states senate because people are hurting. they have lost their homes, their dreams, their children's education. and the economic crisis is only the first much multiple crises we are facing. we have the climate care crisis, the wars in iraq and afghanistan, the extreme poverty abroad and poverty at home. we all voteded for change last november, a powerful mandate, the biggest democratic majority in two generations, yet we are not getting the change we voted for. the problem is in the congress, especially the united states senate. the question is not whether we want change, we want it, it is how do we get change and who has the experience and background of getting it done? i spent my entire life in public service. i was inspired by my mom and dad. my mom is italian. she is a nurse. she is a classic italian. she will fall in love with you over the phone. my mom taught me that a life of giving is a life worth living.
my dad is a doctor from iran. he left this country and came here in search of freedom and democracy and the ideas of democracy inspired by our constitution. my dad taught me this is the greatest country in the world because it was the only country that would welcome him as an immigrant and accept him from did i one. we need a new approach. we have to get out of tired government. we need big citizenship. that means we nide an economy that works for everybody. it means we have to get involved in politics. it means we need to support inknow vateors and trepdure newers, both people that drive our economy and our social sector. finally it means social private partnerships. i am excited to be here with you today. thank you. [applause]
>> congressman capuano. >> fa you. -- thank you. basically i think this election is about who is the best person to take ted kennedy's seat. not to fill his shoes, but to take his seat. that makes the question, what does a united states senator do? a united states senator passes laws but doesn't necessarily put forward plans because that's not what the congress does. the congress works hard to work with or against the president depending who it is and to build coalitions among large groups of people that have differences of opinions. i've been dogs that 11 years and i've been doing that in the house along with the massachusetts delegation, john kerry, and the results are clear. we brought back federal funding for transportation. i'm very proud of the amounts of money brought back from the national institutes of health. my district gets more money in n.i.h. funding than any state in
the nation except for california. i am very proud of the amounts of money we brought back for higher education. for state and local paid. i think that's important. i know some people think all we do is talk about he is owe tarke academic issues, and that's important, we do, but i think if you get to washington and you don't know how to bring it back, the commonwealth of massachusetts would be far worse off for it. as far as creating jobs, i think that is job one for anyone elected to this position. just by a show of hands, i'd like to see how many people plan on hiring in the next several months. i think that answers the question. a handful. most of you can't. to create real jobs in this country during an economic downturn, it will have to be the government, or it will be no one. if people think we are going to get out of the economic stagnation without government action, without strong leadership in washington, i any
you all know that's the wrong statement. we need it, we'll have it, and if i'm wlected i will provide it, as i have been doing for 11 years. [applause] >> attorney attorney coakley. >> i think i have been the only attorney general to focus on the needs in the country, businesses large and small. i started a business and economic division that worked with large businesses and small businesses like the folks who do fishing on the north shore and south shore. i have focused on every time we take action here in massachusetts that the regulations we were forming were fair both to the community and
environment but also to the business community, because i know that businesses here are how we hire people, how we pay taxes, and how we grow, and how welcome out of this economic recession. i've made an effort -- for instance, many of you know we worked on the data privacy rates to know that we were focused on the details to not be over broad, but we did that when we did new regulations around broker and mortgage lending and we worked with you on pharmaceutical rates to be fair. having said that, i know businesses are consumers. you are the consumers of health care. you are the consumers of energy and in massachusetts we focused on the costs making business here so expensive and trying to cut through the red tape so that you can do the kinds of things you want to do here while i'm still doing my job as attorney general. i think that going forward we need to do a lot of things, including knowing when government has to be there and when government has to get out of the way. particularly i'm interested in
knowing whether we have research and development tax credits so you have predictability. i am convinced we can have good incentives to keep businesses here in massachusetts, both high-tech, biotech, and i think we need to be smart in ow we do regulation. particularly wall street needs regulation. we need to do it smartly. thank you. [applause] >> we are now into our series of three areas of questions. the first set of questions is in the health care area. the first question is, clearly national health care reform has dominated washington for the past six months. what are the key components you would like to see included in health care reform? mr. khazei? >> national health care has dominated the agenda for 40
years since president truman put it on the agenda. this is personal for me. as i mentioned, my mom is a nurse, my dad is a doctor. they raised me to believe that health care should be a right. i think we need a strong public option, we need to keep it deficit neutral. we need everyone in the system. i am for medical malpractice reform. i am the son of a doctor and i know defensive medicine does happen. we could save up to $40 billion we could use to pay for health care if we put in reasonable medical malpractice reform. here's the big reason -- we're not getting the health care we want because of the lobbyists and special interests. there are six health care lobbyists for every member of congress. the health care industry is spending $384 million annually to get the health care they want, not the health care we want or need. i am not taking a penny from
lobbyists. we're not getting health care, we're not getting a privacy on climente climate change. we're not getting enough support for small businesses because of the taxes and lobbyists in washington. we are all lined up on health care, but the question is, who will be able to get it done? i will be able to go there, only accountable to the people i have met, rn from the special interests. >> i think the question is, who is most likely to get something through the united states senate. we are not running for emperor. though, of course, if that job opens up, i might seek it. ted kennedy spent 47 years in the united states senate. he worked with probably 1,000 different members of the senate. that's how you get things done, knowing how to work with other people. knowing when you are compromising. as far as health care goes, i strongly believe in a strong health care option for the reason it is the only proposal on the table that will provide
competition in the health care industry. not a government system on its own but competition to keep prices within a reasonable amount. health care will not be cheap. it will never be cheap. we don't want it to be cheap. we want the best-paid doctors. we want the best paid nurses. we want the best paid jan torle staff so we don't get 1678 taph infections. -- staph infections. in my district alone, 70,000 people are on the pay roles of hospitals. we cannot have a system where we lose 20,000 jobs. so anyone running for this particular job to represent the commonwealth of massachusetts they have to balance the he is tarke philosophy of massachusetts with the idea we have in greater boston that the health care industry is a major employer.
for anyone that followed that in washington, you know the whole delegation has been leading on that issue and we will succeed. >> the second health care issue is rising health care costs have taken a severe toll on businesses, workers, and the government. will national health care reform help us find significant cost savings or do we need a different approach? mr. pagliuca. >> i think the first and most important thing is that we have to get everybody covered. get everybody in the boat, then we can fix the boat. this question is the most important question in health care after we get everybody covered, because these are really hurting our businesses, stopping business growth. we spend 17% of our g.d.p. that's twice the other industrialized nations. the most important thing to do, after we get everybody covered, is to reform the system. our system right now from being in the system for 25 years
really promotes over-usage. insurance for doctors costs $50,000 just to practice medicine today. that's unacceptable. integrated care models don't pay for the system, they pay for the patients. we can use evidence-based care, take the best and brightest and get costs down. there is a trillion dollars of utilization costs in that number. it is uncon shunnable. we have to get it down. i know how to do it because i've been working in the system for 20 years. we have to reform it. it hasn't been reformed because of special interests. i'm not take a.i.g. dime of p.a.c. money. we have to get those costs out of there and quality care for all americans.
>> attorney general coakley. >> we and most of you in the room realize we are lucky to have we want to get everybody here insured in massachusetts. we have done thafment we have the lowest rate of uninsured in the country. i have been involved in my appointees on the connector, and now the big task is what do we do about those rising costs? it is true that the up ward spry radical of 8% to 10% a year is unsustainable. so what do we do? by the way, if this were easy, we would have done it a long time ago. i have seen clips of senator kennedy in the 1980's saying we are paying for the individual operation instead of looking at the health of the entire
operation. i think massachusetts is heading that way. there is a sense we need to change the way we pay for that, but i believe we need more tran transparency, and we need more accountability. we have good quality insurance, and we donet really know what it costs. i hope that our experience around what those cost drivers are and how we can change is will -- we can change it will benefit the country. you know we need to do it, and that'sy want to go to wash with my -- go to washington with my experience to make sure we get everyone covered and we keep those costs down. >> the next question is about the economy. the next question is we've seen one economic stimulus bill, we may see another. do you believe there is a limit to how much the government should spend to reignite the economy? attorney general coakley. >> i think the limit should be
supplied by -- i think we have been behind. although we wanted to be shovel ready, they wanted to make sure they will the best impact in terms of the log long-term keeping of jobs and growing jobs. so as we look at what ahas happened here and whether that's been effective or not, and sometimes it is hard to measure the jobs you keep, we have been successful in keeping in the municipal fire and teachers jobs, and so we saved those. as we look at using the rest of the stimulus money going forward, i think we have to look very closely at what that's that's done and how effective it's been and whether or not going forward a second stimulus is what we need for massachusetts and for the rest of the country. i think one of the roles i've played around the stimulus is not making sure we get it, is because it has been slow. how much are we getting? where is it going? who are accountable? i pulled together a stop fraud task force to make sure we did
not have a repeat of a big situation. we are not sure where it's gone. i've made an effort to ensure we know where those dollars are. that's how we can make a determination as to whether or not those are effect yive or not. that's why we have had some success. i think wall street is going back toward main street. that's what i'm concerned about. if a second stimulus will ep help us do that, i'm in favor of that. >> mr. khazei. >> it is all about jobs. here is what i would do. first, i would put in a new jobs hiring tax credit and allow a 15% tax credit in the first year, and 10% in the second year. if this is done, we could create up to 1.7 million new jobs. small businesses create 67% of the jobs i